I woke to a silent, dark and unfamiliar house. I couldn’t find an alarm clock the night before, so I lay there for a while trying the feel the time. Eventually, I rummaged across the top of the bedside table and found my iPhone. 5:38 a.m. As good a time as any to start the day.
Out of the cocoon of warm sheets, the air in the house felt cool. I grabbed a sweater and tip-toed out into the hallway. Three steps in, a floor-board creaked loudly. In the kitchen I flipped on the pot lights above the sink, grateful for a touch of light. The tile was cold on my bare feet. Boxes sat everywhere. Alarm clock be damned, but I’d been sure to find the coffee-maker and some mugs the night before. The Keurig screeched and gurgled into action after months of sitting in a storage container. Well done Keurig.
I found and adjusted the thermostat and curled up on a couch-with-only-one-cushion-and-no-legs that had been plunked in the kitchen. Cradling the hot coffee mug, I looked out the window into the black dark. I couldn’t make out the tree tops that I know are there. A few stars twinkled. A light blinked from land on the other side of channel.
I started my lap top. No internet to distract me, I started working on something that had to go out on Monday. It required focus that I hadn’t mustered in the busy-ness of the last few days. As it turned out, focus came quickly at 5:45 on a Saturday morning sitting in the dark with no wi-fi. That is, until I started writing this.
6:39. The subtle orange glow of morning started to bleed into the edges of the horizon, pushing the rest of the night sky deep indigo, as if in wave. The tops of the fir trees were now etched black against a narrow peach canvas. The mountains further east emerged in a gray rolling line.
A bird started chirping. The refrigerator clicked and then started humming. The porcelain of the coffee mug now felt cold.
Twenty minutes later, the sky turned a palate of cloudless slate blue. In the weak promise of daylight, details of the trees emerged. Raindrops – or dewdrops perhaps – hung from the big flat leaves immediately outside the window. They caught the light, glistening. A flock of birds flew through my viewscape, as if skimming the tops of the distant hills.
It’s October 2015. We live here now.